FASHION LAW: SUGARTOWN OUTS OLD NAVY FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
Affordable family clothing retailers, Old Navy and Gap are in hot water with popular female prepster brand, Lilly Pulitzer. Sugartown, the Delaware-based LLC and owner of Lilly Pulitzer trademarks, has filed suit against both stores for a multitude of infractions: including copyright infringement, money damages, and injunctive relief while seeking destruction of infringing materials, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
The suit states that Lilly Pulitzer, most commonly known for bright colors and patterns akin with the sorority crowd, began designing, manufacturing and selling bright colorful prints since the 1950’s. Lilly Pulitzer Inc. was later founded in 1959 and the rights to the brand were then sold to Sugartown in 1993. The company’s design team takes pride on creating original artwork that is registered with the United States Copyright Office to avoid infringement of any kind against other brands.
The specific complaint in this case refers to the High Tide Design and the Sparks Fly Design, both of which were blatantly copyrighted by Old Navy. These two designs were created in 2013 and were incorporated into Lilly Pulitzer products shortly in 2014. Sugartown claims that due to the wide distribution and advertising for both designs, the defendants easily had access to the patterns allowing them to design and market these specific patterns as their own. Sugartown noted in their argument that they seek to “stem the tide of defendants’ alleged copyright and let the sparks fly where they must (and not fly where they must not).”